iVIVA! Latinx Heritage Month at the Library Sings, Dances and Celebrates

VIVA bright flowers and blue sky illustration

San Francisco, CA — This September and October, enjoy ¡VIVA! Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month, San Francisco Public Library’s annual celebration of Latinx heritage, cultures and traditions. San Francisco has a rich Latinx heritage that is highlighted in our diverse array of exciting programs for all ages, from Spanish/bilingual storytimes to cooking classes, author talks to art and cultural presentations. Come celebrate with us. ¡Bienvenidos!


The Library is offering a full plate of Latinx adult authors—poetry, mystery and more from mid-September to mid-October. Acclaimed local author Michael Nava will host a panel with Latinx mystery and crime writers Alex Segura, Raquel I. Reyes, Richie Narvaez and Lucha Corpi. Six members of SF’s beloved International Flor y Canto conduct an exciting reading of their works. Carolina de Robertis discusses her latest book, The President and the Frog, and the craft of writing and translating.


SFPL’s popular On the Same Page book club also has a Latinx flavor to it this September and October. Our selection is Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s The Undocumented Americans, a work that explores the complex, stereotype-defying themes of migration, mental illness, beauty and intergenerational drama. Through this collection of literary essays, Cornejo Villavicencio reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans, from the volunteers recruited for the 9/11 Ground Zero cleanup to the homeopathy botanicas of Miami that provide limited health care to non-citizens. The Undocumented Americans shows the love, magic, heartbreak and vulgarity infused in the day-to-day lives of its subjects. The book was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was selected as one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, Time, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Public Library, Book Riot, Vulture and Library Journal. Cornejo Villavicencio and Jonathan Blitzer, staff writer at The New Yorker, will be in conversation on Oct. 26, 6 p.m., in a virtual program.


Our vibrant iVIVA! youth programs appeal to all the senses. First, a reggaeton dance class for kids 12 and older will get bodies moving to the beat. Is food, especially hot chocolate, more your speed? We’re highlighting the tasty diversity of hot chocolate in the Americas—bring your favorite version to share in this “virtual” tasting and get inspired by others. Three distinctive art programs focus on “El Salvador’s National Artist” Fernando Llort, Aztec shields known as chimalli and Guatemalan-inspired kites for your Día de los Muertos altar. Lastly, authors Chantel Acevedo and Donna Barba Higuera, members of the Latinx women’s and non-binary writers’ collective Las Musas discuss cultural elements in their work, their inspiration for their upcoming books and advice for young writers in a program for kids and adults.



For a full list of events and book recommendations for every reading level, visit sfpl.org/viva.


iVIVA! Adult Programs


Performance: Post Pandemico Poesia – Sept. 15, 12 p.m., Larkin St. steps

A celebration of Latinx poetry on Larkin St. steps featuring Josiah Luis Alderete, Alan Chazaro, Florencio Milito and Susana Praver-Perez.


Panel: Latinx Mystery/Crime Writers – Sept. 15, 7 p.m.

Michael Nava curates a panel of Latinx authors discussing their books, writing and their inspirations. Featuring Alex Segura, Raquel I. Reyes, Richie Narvaez and Lucha Corpi.

Performance: Reading from Flor y Canto – Sept. 23, 7 p.m., Skylight Gallery

SF’s International Flor y Canto discuss their mission and read from their latest works. Featuring Josiah Luis Alderete, Ricardo Tavarez, Monica Zarazua, Hector Son of Hector, Jose Hector Cadenas and Lourdes Figueroa.


Author: Jaime Cortez  in conversation with Yosimar Reyes – Sept. 26, 2 p.m.

Jaime Cortez discusses his first collection of short stories, Gordo, set in a migrant workers camp near Watsonville, California, in the 1970s.


Author: Carolina de Robertis in Conversation, The President and the Frog – Sept. 28, 7 p.m.

Carolina De Robertis will be in conversation discussing her latest book and the craft of writing and translating. Focusing on a former Latin American president reminiscing on his remarkable life, The President and the Frog is a timeless and timely exploration of power, revolution and survival. A partnership with Berkeley Public Library


Author: Laura E. Gómez, Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism – Oct. 5, 7 p.m.

Part history, part guide for the future, the author presents a groundbreaking examination of how Latinos' new collective racial identity has changed the way race functions in this country.


Author: Tomas Moniz and Michelle Gonzales in conversation – Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

Tomas Moniz and Michelle Cruz Gonzales discuss writing, educating and their Bay Area history.


Author Event: Karla Cornejo Villavicencio and Jonathan Blitzer in Conversation – Oct. 26, 6 p.m. Author Karla Cornejo Villavicencio and staff writer at The New Yorker Jonathan Blitzer discuss The Undocumented Americans. Register: bit.ly/OTSPSept-Oct21


iVIVA! Youth Programs


Workshop: The Birds and Stories of Central American Artist Fernando Llort Sept. 15, 4 p.m.

Draw in the style of “El Salvador's National Artist” Fernando Llort in celebration of the Independence Days of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. For ages 10–18. 

Workshop: Reggaeton Dance Class Sept. 18, 1 p.m.

Get moving in this beginning/intermediate level class taught by Sandro Alvarez from Chile in partnership with Rae Studios, San Francisco. For ages 12 and older. 


Workshop: Aztec Chimalli/Shields Sept. 22, 4 p.m.

Create your own personal shield, or “chimalli” in Nahuatl. Learn about the different elements that make up the sacred stone and how they are used for protection. For ages 5-9. 


Author: Chantel Acevedo and Donna Barba Higuera Sept. 29, 6 p.m. 

Members of the Latinx women’s and non-binary writers’ collective Las Musas discuss cultural elements in their work, their inspiration for their upcoming books and advice for young writers. For kids and adults. 


Workshop: Hot Chocolate Traditions throughout Latin America Oct. 6, 6 p.m. 

Explore the tasty diversity of hot chocolate in the Americas. Bring your favorite version to share in this “virtual” tasting. Hosted by SFPL staff Joanna Arteaga La Spina with special guests. For ages 10 and older.   


Workshop: Guatemalan-Inspired Kite Art Oct. 13, 4 p.m. 

Honor loved ones by creating a colorful Guatemalan-inspired kite to place on your Día de los Muertos altar. For ages 8 and older. 



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Jaime Wong

Public Relations Officer

San Francisco Public Library

415-214-2279 | Jaime.Wong@sfpl.org

September 7, 2021